The Valle de Pego valley encloses two different municipalities:
L'Atzúbia. It constitutes a whole unit, both from a physical and a cultural point of view, and it's located on the north of the Marina Alta region, between the provinces of
Valencia. Most of this large valley is surrounded by mountains, with the exception of its eastern area, where there is a coastal lagoon, a marsh and the Deveses sand strip. It's precisely this last part that our route goes through.
We'll start the route by the tourist information office for "Pego and les Valls", just for the fact that there is some parking space next to it and it's close to the start of a bike lane that runs parallel to the CV-700 road towards the
Pego-Oliva Marsh Nature Reserve. After the first 4.5 kilometres, when we reach a house made of stone with a sign that indicates the access to the nature reserve, we'll have to cross the CV-700 road in order to begin the circular route through the reserve. Our route coincides practically with the route marked as blue, and we complement it with a section of the red route. More precisely the part that includes the climb to the top of the mountain, from where we'll be able to enjoy an amazing view of the area.
Just 150 metres after we've accessed the reserve, we'll come across the Racons river. We'll ride on the left side of the river until we find a small bridge, which we'll use to cross to the other side and continue until we find the next turn. We'll take it and we'll keep riding north through the rice fields, all the way to the crossing with the CV-678 road (watch out for traffic!). We'll turn right on this road and, after 200 metres, we'll turn left to join the side road again. We'll go past the Bullent "ullal" (or "water spring") and we'll turn left towards the "Muntanyeta Verda" (the green hill). Once we reach this point, we'll go up to the viewpoint at the top to be able to see the whole marshland, with the Mediterranean Sea on the left side and the mountains of
Pego on the right side -altogether a mesmerising sight.
After we return from the top, we'll go back to the same road that we were on before, which will take us around the "Muntanyeta Verda", with the Bullent river on our left. Once we go past the area known as Blau del Calapatar, we'll turn left. After covering another 900 metres and going over a bridge, we'll have the option to stay on the same road towards the Font Salada (also known as Ullal del Burro), but we'll take the road on our right-hand side instead in order to head south through the Marjals de La Revolta marshland.
We'll come across the CV-678 road again. We'll turn right on this road (remember to watch out for traffic!) and we'll only stay on it for 150 metres, just before heading south through another dirt road that we'll see on our left.
After we reach the Racons river once again and we use the bridge to get to the other side, we'll ride upstream until we get back to the CV-700 road. Once we cross this road, we'll find the same bike lane that we used at the beginning of the route, which will lead us back to
When we arrive at
Pego's town centre, we recommend exploring its medieval outline, admiring some of its architectural gems and enjoying the local cuisine at the town hall square, while checking out the view of the town hall façade and the Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Church. And one more thing: we shouldn't leave without passing through the "Portalet de Ponent" arched tunnel (13th century), next to the church in Calle Sant Domene street.
Alfàs del Pi (L')
Villajoyosa/Vila Joiosa (La)
Alicante / Alacant
What to see
The first thing that everyone who visits Pego must do is visiting the town centre and sensing the medieval charm preserved within the ruins of the wall that protected the original Christian settlement, established during the last decades of the 13th century. The most important items of Pego's heritage are the Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Church, built at the end of the 16th century (the bell tower was added much later, during the first years of the 18th century) and the Chapel of Ecce Homo.
What to eat
The most traditional dishes from the local cuisine around the Pego's marshland area are the cocas con gamba (prawn pastries), the arroz con costra (baked rice with an egg layer on top), the arroz con alubias y acelgas (rice with beans and chard), the paella de anguila y pato (eel and duck paella), the puchero (chickpea, meat and vegetable stew) and the all i pebre (eel, garlic and potato stew). These dishes are clearly influenced by the town's proximity to the province of Valencia.
Did you know?
Muslims first occupied the Valle de Pego sometime around the year 716 and settled down in different farms spread all over the municipality, something that's still noticeable nowadays thanks to the diverse toponymical heritage present in the area. They introduced a lot of new agricultural practices and created irrigation systems that would be inherited and enhanced by Christians later on.
During the 15th century, the village centre (now the Calle Mayor) and the area around it were inhabited by Christians, whereas Muslims and Mudejars lived in farms in Favara, Atzeneta and Benumeia.
After the Moriscos were expelled from Spain in 1609, the valley was almost completely abandoned and new settlers had to be sent from the Balearic Islands and Catalonia to repopulate the areas around Pego.
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